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  Vision and Mission of the EPDP  
 

 Peaceful coexistence of all ethnic groups in a united Sri Lanka  
 Power sharing at the Centre for all, and autonomy for the Provinces
 Permanently merged North and East as a single Province
 Devolution of asymmetric powers to the North - East Province

 Internal autonomy for the Muslims of the North - East Province


Pragmatic Political Programme of the EPDP

It is very unfortunate that over the past 60 years, the Sinhala and Tamil leadership have failed to arrive at a mechanism through which the different communities of the country could share power. As a result, Sri Lanka, which was a role model for other developing countries in terms of education, health and other qualities of life indicators, has now come to the brink of destruction.

The 25 years of war in the country has exhausted the Tamil people completely. The glamour of war has lost its appeal and the earlier fervour for violence has abated. They fervently yearn for a political solution to bring an end to the war.

Majority of the Tamil speaking people are opposed to violence. The basic demand of the Tamil speaking people is a reasonable and just solution to the burning ethnic issues. The people long and wait for a meaningful political settlement. All the people in Sri Lanka sincerely long for a peaceful life, irrespective of race.

The time is ripe to lay the foundation for a stable political solution through political negotiations. The global trends too indicate that working out solutions through non-violent political means can be more fruitful than mindless violence. Bitter experiences of the failed past is forcing the nation to accept the view that there are alternatives to intransigent and bloodletting politics in solving the problem of the Tamil speaking people.


It is now quite apparent that by rejecting the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord and by obstructing its implementation, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have betrayed the fundamental aspiration of the Tamil people.

Even the other Tamil leadership has failed to make use of the political opportunities that were available to them. Thus, the Tamils have lost many opportunities to fulfil their hopes.

The EPDP returned to the democratic mainstream and gave up arms with the view to finding a negotiated settlement after the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord. EPDP functions fundamentally on the principle that devolution of power for the North and East, should be the basis for the lasting peace.

We, the EPDP, are convinced that the ethnic issue has to be approached in a pragmatic way, relying essentially on negotiations and avoiding military confrontations. We do not want to drag our people through recurring blood paths.

The past mistakes of the governments, which came to power, should not be repeated again. In the past, too much trust was placed on the goodwill of the Tigers, who have a history of scuttling any initiative towards a peaceful resolution of the ethnic problem.

Another problem was the failure of a consensus among the main political parties in the south for petty political gains.

The Governments which came to power, always tried to appease the LTTE at first, and the Tigers in turn used these opportunities to build themselves up to prolong the war. This is why it is necessary for the present Government to take a bold initiative and table a practical proposal that would fulfil the aspirations of all Sri Lankans. Democracy, Pluralism and Human Rights should be given prominence in any new initiative taken by the Government.

Hence, we would like to present a Three Stage Solution that could meet the political goals of the Tamil speaking people.


Stage one
The first stage is to implement the 13th Amendment, which was the outcome of the Indo-Sri Lanka Accord, to the constitution in full. The amendment is aimed to hand over the North-East provincial council to the democratically elected representatives of the North and East. Handing over the power to the elected representatives of the North and East would be the first step towards fulfilling the political rights of the Tamil speaking people.

This move will not have any opposition since the provincial council system has already been accepted by almost all political parties and is being implemented in the South.

The provincial council system run by the elected representatives of the people will provide channels to fulfil the daily needs and partially the political aspirations of the Tamil speaking people. It would also provide the best mechanism for rebuilding the lives of our people who have lost everything in the cycles of war.

Second Stage
The second stage is to reinforce the 13th Amendment by conferring additional powers on the North and East Provincial Council to make them centres of greater authority.

This gradual devolution of power to the regions would allay the fears and build the confidence of both the Tamil and the Sinhala people. It will instil confidence amongst the Tamil speaking people that their political issue could be resolved in stages. This will also convince the Sinhala people that devolution of power would not lead to separation but would bring about peace, harmony, trust and confidence among all ethnic communities.

Third Stage
The third stage would be, with the consent of all the political parties including the LTTE, a lasting final solution to resolve the aspirations of the Tamil-speaking people. It will lead to the granting of maximum devolution to the regions.

The subjects that will be shared with the devolution of powers have to be negotiated through consultation and finalized based on a pluralistic concept of living and sharing a multi-cultural society with equality and justice to all communities and to function in a free society respecting rule of law, pluralism and the rights of all individuals to exercise their democratic will without fear.

This is the outline of the political programmes of the EPDP regarding the cherished aspirations of the Tamil people. EPDP believes that this program, when implemented, will restore the rights and the dignity of the Tamil people. 

We could achieve a contented and prosperous future, only if we approach our problems with a pragmatic and a clear vision. It is this pragmatic vision and our reliance on the continuing support of our people that has given us the strength to go forward without surrendering to the threats amidst the killings of our brave cadres who have sacrificed their lives to safeguard the rights of the Tamil community.

Let the steadfast resolution of ours help us build the Nation.

EPDP 


 
     
 
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